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If President Obama believed he had a good economic record, he would be presenting that record to the American people as it really is. It tells you a lot that the president is so willing to distort the facts – especially on the matter of his spending.

A few weeks ago, a writer named Rex Nutting wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch section that made the claim that there really has been no Obama spending spree. According to Nutting, the whole thing is a myth.

This was greeted as exciting news by the Obama White House, which immediately began making the claim that the “conservative Wall Street Journal” had declared he was not a big spender.

How could Nutting make such a claim? Using phony numbers, that’s how. Nutting ignored the fact that much of the spending that occurred in 2009 was requested and approved by Obama after he took office. This allowed Nutting to pretend that all 2009 spending – save for the oddly chosen figure of $140 billion – was the responsibility of George W. Bush.

Because spending increases since 2009 have been relatively small, Nutting’s logic is that Obama has given us tiny increases over a baseline that was Bush’s fault.

It didn’t take long for conservative media to tear Nutting’s deceptive piece to shreds. The piece was so sloppy, it was easy to do. But surprisingly, even mainstream media outlets like the Associated Press and the Washington Post roasted Nutting for his claims and took Obama to task for citing the discredited column.

As for Obama’s claim that he was getting support from the “conservative Wall Street Journal,” that was simply not the truth. MarketWatch is an entirely separate section from the WSJ’s conservative editorial page, which weighed in on the controversy after it had festered for several days, ripping Nutting’s piece to shreds and castigating the Obama administration for citing it.

You would think, after all this, that Obama would stop making the claim and stop citing the piece. But he hasn’t. At a fundraiser just the other night, he cited it once again to the roaring approval of a partisan Democratic crowd.

Of course, his claim is ridiculous on its face. The national debt has already risen by $5 trillion in the three years since Obama took office, which is more than it rose the entire eight years of the Bush administration. To say there has been no Obama spending spree is so absurd, you’d be laughed out of any room full of serious people (apparently Democratic fundraising events don’t apply) if you said it.

I would respect President Obama more if he would stand up and make an honest case for his policies. I’m not saying I would agree with them, but if he thinks spending 25 percent of GDP – which we haven’t done at any other time outside of World War II – is good policy, he should boldly stand up and tell everyone, “Yes, I increased spending this much and this is why I did it.”

Instead, he runs from his spending record because it obviously hasn’t brought the economic benefits he claimed it would, and it’s running up the nation’s credit card at a frightening rate. He is so lost for a justification for all this, that when an obscure columnist writes a sloppy and easily debunked column that attempts to defend him, he references it for weeks on end.

He has nothing else.

That is pathetic. Would it be so hard to admit that your policies haven’t worked and that we need to try something else? Then again, he’s still pushing Congress to give him another $450 billion in stimulus spending, so maybe he really doesn’t understand that his policies don’t work. Maybe he just thinks we need that much more of them.

Congress won’t give him what he wants, of course, nor should it.

Mr. President, with all due respect, your facts are incorrect.

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